Evidence and results wonkwar final salvo (for now): Eyben and Roche respond to Whitty and Dercon + your chance to vote

admin - January 24, 2013

In this final post (Chris Whitty and Stefan Dercon have opted not to write a second installment), Rosalind Eyben and Chris Roche reply to their critics. And now is your chance to vote (right) – but only if you’ve read all three posts, please. The comments on this have been brilliant, and I may well repost some next week, when I’ve had a chance to …

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‘Stuff happens’: the risks of a results agenda. Guest post from Rosalind Eyben

admin - March 15, 2011

A few months ago, I blogged about the risks associated with the aid industry’s current overriding obsession with audit/value for money/results (pick your term). Since then, that debate has been swirling around both on this blog and (more importantly), in aid and development circles in many countries. So to help it along a bit I’ve asked two people who think about this a lot more …

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A draft chapter on blogging and this blog – need your comments please

Duncan Green - October 4, 2017

There’s no way I can come out of this looking good, but I need your help. I’ve been asked to contribute a chapter to a new edition of a Routledge book, Popular Representations of Development: Insights from Novels, Films, Television and Social Media. The topic is…. this blog. So I have put together what can best be described as 5000 words of evidence-based narcissism and …

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The new Gates Foundation aid report: great at human stories; but where’s the power, politics and mess?

Duncan Green - September 29, 2017

I’ve been reading the new Gates Foundation report, The Stories Behind the Data (lots of jazzy webstuff and graphs of bad stuff going down here – and if you dig hard enough, you can even find a good old-fashioned report to read here). On one level it is exemplary, setting out both an optimistic story of progress, and a warning that this could all be in jeopardy, not …

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Book Review: The Power of Positive Deviance

Duncan Green - February 8, 2016

Another contribution to this week’s conference on ‘Power, Politics and Positive Deviance’, which I’m gutted to be missing. I finally got round to reading The Power of Positive Deviance, in which management guru Richard Pascale teams up with the two key practitioners – the Sternins (Jerry and Monique) – to analyse over 20 years of experience in developing the Positive Deviance (PD) approach, building on their …

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The Politics of Results & Evidence. Most read post from this summer (ICYMI)

Duncan Green - September 23, 2015

OK, Oxfam’s IT whizzes finally seem to have fixed a really frustrating problem – several thousand people who had signed up for email alerts about new FP2P posts haven’t been receiving them for the last 3 months. Many of them assumed Oxfam had finally got round to sacking me and/or I’d got fed up with blogging/gone under a bus. Sorry to disappoint – I’ve been …

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The Politics of Results and Evidence in International Development: important new book

Duncan Green - August 5, 2015

The results/value for money steamroller grinds on, with aid donors demanding more attention to measurement of impact. At first sight that’s a good thing – who could be against achieving results and knowing whether you’ve achieved them, right? Step forward Ros Eyben, Chris Roche, Irene Guijt and Cathy Shutt, who take a more sceptical look in a new book, The Politics of Results and Evidence …

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What if we scrapped The Project – are there better ways to fund development?

Duncan Green - October 29, 2014

Yesterday I gave some general feedback on last week’s Doing Development Differently conference. Today I want to talk about projects, or rather The Project. Joel Hellman of the World Bank gave the following definition: What is a project? –          Time bound (1-5 years) –          A Legal Agreement –          A cluster of contracts – employment, implementing partners, consultants, evaluation. All of them work within a set …

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Thinking and Working Politically update: where have aid agencies, consultants etc got to?

Duncan Green - September 23, 2014

Spent an engrossing couple of days last week at a ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ (TWP) seminar, organized by a group of donors, thinktanks and consultants (sorry, Chatham House Rules, so that’s as much as I can say about them). Their common ground is that aid needs to get beyond its technocratic comfort zone, and take politics and power more seriously. It’s a new initiative, and …

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International Aid and the Making of a Better World: a great new book

Duncan Green - July 30, 2014

Ros Eyben makes retirement look terribly exhausting. No sooner had I reviewed her book on feminists in development organizations than another appeared. This one is a little (170 page) gem. International Aid and the Making of a Better World interweaves her own life story with the evolution of the aid system, in which she is both a participant and a ferocious critic. And although it …

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